UK govt says it’s protecting public services, housing from Nigerians

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The Home Secretary of the United Kingdom has defended the international student package measures that seek to block Nigerians and other foreign students from bringing their dependents into the UK.

In a video posted by Sky News on Wednesday, Immigration Minister, Robert Jenrick, representing the Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, said the measures are meant to protect the UK public services and housing supply from the pressure of rising dependents of foreign students.

Jenrick told the Parliament during a question and answer segment, that the number of dependents arriving in the UK based on study visas of international students has risen from 16,000 in December 2019 to 136,000 in the year to December 2022.

According to the minister, the dependents’ contribution to the UK economy is limited, and to reduce the pressure they have on the UK, the Home Secretary released some measures to block their migration to the UK.

The measures include removing the right for international students to bring dependents unless they are on research (or) post-graduate courses and removing the ability of international students to switch out of the student route to the work route before their studies have been completed.

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“The number of dependents arriving alongside international students has risen more than 8 folds since 2019, from 16,000 in December 2019 to 136,000 in the year in December 2022.

“Dependents of students make a more limited contribution to the economy than the students or those coming under the skilled worker route.

“But more fundamentally, our system wasn’t designed for such large number of people to come here in this manner,” he told the lawmakers.

He added that “Yesterday, we introduced a package of measures to help deliver our goals of reducing net migration. The package includes removing the right for international students to bring dependents, unless they are on research (or) post-graduate courses, and removing the ability of international students to switch out of the student route to work route before their studies have been completed.

“This is the right and fair thing to do. It ensures that we protect our public services and housing supply against undue pressure, and deliver on the promise we made to the public to reduce net migration.

“Our education and institutions are world renowned, and for good reason. And the government remain committed to the commitment in the international education strategy, including the goal of 600,000 international students coming into the United Kingdom each year.

“But universities should be in the education business, not immigration business. We are taking concerted action to deliver a fair and effective system that benefits our citizens, our businesses and our economy. We are determined to get things right because its demonstrably international interest,” Jenric revealed to the Parliament.

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